Monday February 19, 2018
Home Uncategorized Meet 15-year-...

Meet 15-year-old Indian innovator who uses Science to solve global malnutrition problem

0
//
211
Republish
Reprint

IMG_2144

 

By Nishtha

At the age of 15 years, Aarushee Nair has interests like any other teenager – she loves to swim, play basketball and lawn tennis. What sets Aarushee apart is her interest in science and how she is using her research work to help the needy and underprivileged.

Addressing pertinent issues

She has designed a Tetra Pak which can hold 350 ml of clean drinking water and has a separate slot to hold Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS). Through a small beak shaped outlet, the ORS can be administered to infants in the rural areas. She received patent for this design from the Government of India in 2013. Her achievements were even documented by the UNICEF.

She is also working on the second version of this Tetra Pak – to address the issue of malnutrition and clean drinking water.

“World Health Organization (WHO) has a pack of vitamins and minerals and when it is mixed with water, it can provide the necessary nutrients to the child. But it is essential that the water used in the packet is safe and clean. Thousands of infants under the age of five die due to dehydration and diarrhoea. Usage of these Tetra Pak by the government authorities can be extremely helpful ,” said Aarushee, a student of Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, New Delhi.

Ensuring health during calamities

pack_option1-page-001

She has also applied for the patent of another design: an eco-friendly and biodegradable toothpaste dispenser for people affected by natural disasters or living in refugee camps.

patent2-page-001

“Wars and natural calamities lead to displacement of people in large numbers. The design I am working on will have four nozzles from where the toothpaste will be dispensed. After any natural disaster, there are chances of communicable diseases spreading in the relief camps. We can also take a cue from the dispenser and use it as a prototype to distribute water and other fluids,” explained Nair.

 

Awards and accolades

Her other achievements include a ‘Young Achievers’ Award by the Department of Science and Technology, Haryana government and a ‘Girls in ICT’ award instituted by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Geneva among other accolades.

In June 2015, Nair received the International Young Eco Hero Award by Action for Mature USA. She has been invited to San Francisco in October to accept the award.

Using the power of the visual media

To raise awareness about the deprivation of education among the underprivileged children, Aarushee, has produced a five minute documentary called, ‘Taaj Poshi’. She conceived this idea when she saw a 10 year boy working at a construction site along with his younger siblings.

“The intention of making this documentary is to make people aware about the atrocities these working children face on the field. They carry bricks on their heads and cement bags on their shoulders. I even got the protagonist of my film enrolled in a nearby government school but he was forced to quit as his family moved to a new place. Migration for work is also a deterrent for their education,” said Aarushee.

Added achievements

Apart from her interest in science and innovation, she recently got her name in the Limca Book of Records by solving the mirror cube blind folded in record time of 4 minutes and 40 seconds. She started experimenting with mirror cubes in January this year and became proficient within a span of few months.

Plans for the future

When asked about her future plans, she said her career path has been clear for years now. She wants to become a gynaecologist. She wants to work for mother and child care in rural India and also travel to different parts of the country to make people aware about population control.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

Tiny Pacemakers Could Be Game Changers for Heart Patients

A pacemaker is a medical device which uses electrical impulses, delivered by electrodes contracting the heart muscles, to regulate the beating of the heart

0
//
13
The tiny pacemakers are not right for all patients, but as the technology develops, more people will be able to benefit from the procedure.
The tiny pacemakers are not right for all patients, but as the technology develops, more people will be able to benefit from the procedure. Wikimedia Commons

Tiny, new pacemakers are making headway around the world. One type, the Micra, is keeping 15,000 people’s hearts beating in 40 countries, according to manufacturer Medtronic. One of those people is Mary Lou Trejo, a senior citizen who lives in Ohio.

A healthy heart has its own pacemaker that establishes its rhythm, but people like Trejo need the help of an artificial device.

Trejo comes from a family with a history of heart disease. Her heart skipped beats, and she could feel it going out of rhythm. Trejo wanted to do something to advance heart health, so in 2014, she volunteered to participate in a clinical trial for the Micra pacemaker. The device is 24 millimetres long implanted, one-tenth the size of traditional pacemakers.

Traditional pacemakers

Most pacemakers rely on batteries placed under the skin, usually just below the collarbone. Sometimes patients get infections after the surgery or have difficulty healing from the incision.

Also Read: Lia, the Pregnancy Test You Can Flush

Traditional pacemakers use leads with electrodes on one end that are threaded through blood vessels to connect to the heart. There can be problems with the leads as well.

A healthy heart has its own pacemaker that establishes its rhythm, but people like Trejo need the help of an artificial device.
A healthy heart has its own pacemaker that establishes its rhythm, but people like Trejo need the help of an artificial device. Wikimedia Commons

Dr Ralph Augostini at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center says a tiny pacemaker like the Micra avoids all of these problems.

“The electrodes are part of the can, and therefore it eliminates the lead,” he said. There’s no incision in the chest to become infected and no chance of complications with the leads.

Small and self-contained

Augostini implanted Trejo’s pacemaker in 2014. He threaded the entire device through an artery in her leg up to her heart. The pacemaker has small, flexible tines that anchor it into the folds of the heart muscle. Once it’s in place, the doctor gives it a tug to make sure the pacemaker is stable before removing the catheter used to place it in the heart.

The Wexner Medical Center was one of the sites that participated in the Micra clinical trial. Since the Micra received FDA approval in 2016, Medtronic has been training more physicians on the procedure. A company spokesman told VOA that this device is becoming available at other centres across the U.S. and countries throughout the world.

Traditional pacemakers use leads with electrodes on one end that are threaded through blood vessels to connect to the heart.
Traditional pacemakers use leads with electrodes on one end that are threaded through blood vessels to connect to the heart. Wikimedia Commons

Dr John Hummell, a cardiologist at the Wexner Medical Center, has studied the effectiveness of this new generation of pacemakers.

“We don’t leave any wires behind and the pacemaker, the battery, the wire is all just a tiny little piece of metal sitting down in the heart,” he said. Medtronic said the results of the clinical trial showed a success rate of 99.6 percent.

Dr Richard Weachter, with the University of Missouri Health Care, says the leadless pacemakers’ complication rates are about half the rate of traditional pacemakers.

The battery lasts for 14 years and after that, Weachter said, doctors, can implant another one in the same chamber of the heart. They can repeat the procedure a third time if needed.

Also Read: Novel stroke treatment repairs damaged brain tissue

The pacemaker activates only when necessary to keep the heart beating normally. Studies show that the Micra and other leadless pacemakers are safe and effective.

These tiny pacemakers are not right for all patients, but as the technology develops, more people will be able to benefit from the procedure. Four years after her implant, Trejo’s doctors say she is doing fine. (VOA)